Is More Necessarily Better? Leadership and Organizational Development of Migrant Hometown Associations in Los Angeles, California

Luis Escala Rabadán, Gaspar Rivera-Salgado, Rigoberto Rodriguez



Hometown associations (htas) in the United States are migrant, voluntary groups with a shared sense of belonging to a region in a diff erent country of origin. Their philanthropic activities across borders have increasingly attracted the attention of government agencies and social and political actors. Th ese actors have endeavored to form more htas and place greater demands on them to expand their civic engagement.

This strategy, however, will not necessarily lead to that purpose, but instead will likely exacerbate a critical gap in the htas’ organizational capacity. This paper argues that a diff erent strategy is best suited to strengthen the organizational ability of htas, and proposes a framework to achieve this goal based on a capacity building pilot program for Latino htas from the Los Angeles region.

¿Realmente más es mejor? Liderazgo y desarrollo organizativo
entre asociaciones de migrantes en Los Ángeles, California


Las asociaciones de paisanos en Estados Unidos son grupos de migrantes voluntarios basados en un sentimiento compartido de pertenencia a una región en un país de origen distinto. Sus actividades han llamado cada vez más la atención de instancias gubernamentales y de actores sociales y políticos. Estos actores han favorecido la formación de más de estos grupos, junto con una creciente demanda sobre ellos para que expandan sus compromisos cívicos.

Sin embargo, esta estrategia no conduce necesariamente a ello, e incluso podría disminuir la capacidad organizativa de las asociaciones. A partir de un programa piloto basado en la formación de capacidades con asociaciones de migrantes latinos en Los Ángeles, aquí argumentamos que se requiere una estrategia distinta para que las htas amplíen su capacidad organizativa.

Keywords: hometown associations;capacity-building;Latin American migration;collaborative research;Los Angeles

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